Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in his free time. Follow him on Twitter.
Update (January 11. 2022 4PM IST): The OnePlus 10 Pro is now officially launched in China with a starting price of CNY4,699 ($737).
OnePlus’ flagship phone is one of the most anticipated devices for Android fans every year, given the company’s track record of delivering lots of bang for your buck. Every year, the company seems to slide more into straight-up premium territory, but on the whole OnePlus devices tend to offer solid value.
This year’s OnePlus 10 Pro is particularly interesting, as it marks the first major phone from the company since it officially merged with Oppo (OnePlus has always been an Oppo sub-brand, but now the companies are working even more closely). After skipping the expected ‘9T’ model, the 10 Pro is set to launch earlier than its predecessors, and we can already see some of the impact of the closer integration between OnePlus and Oppo.
Here’s what we know about the flagship so far.
What does it look like?
Feast your eyes:
OnePlus is probably the worst company at keeping consistent design elements from one generation to the next, and the OnePlus 10 Pro is no different. For comparison, this was the OnePlus 9 Pro:
You wouldn’t be able to tell they’re from the same phone brand were it not for the OnePlus logo, but I do much prefer the new design; it’s at least a little less generic than the previous one. That said, the way the camera bump melts into the metal frame of the phone seems rather similar to Samsung’s similar effect on the Galaxy S21. And as usual, OnePlus isn’t giving you too much in the way of color options: the phone will be available in black and green colorways.
What are the main specs?
This part shouldn’t be too surprising: It’s a 2022 flagship, with the latest top-of-the-line Qualcomm chip and oodles of RAM. OnePlus hasn’t revealed every detail just yet, but here’s what we know so far:
- Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (Qualcomm recently switched up its naming scheme)
- 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM
- 256GB UFS 3.1 SSD
- 120Hz LTPO display with adaptive refresh rate
- Dual-color calibration promises accurate colors at both high and low screen brightness
- 5,000 mAh battery
- 80W SuperVOOC charging (OnePlus is now using Oppo’s charging branding rather than the old Warp Charge), which the company claims can top off the phone from 1%-100% in just 32 minutes.
- 50W AirVOOC Wireless Charging, which can top off the phone in 47 minutes.
- 48MP ultrawide, 50 MP wide, and 8MP telephoto lens
- 32MP selfie camera
- ColorOS 12.1 China, OxygenOS 12 in Europe, India, and North America.
Note that these specs are for the Chinese release, and there’s a chance the storage and RAM combinations may be different in other regions.
How’s that Hasselblad camera partnership coming along?
Last year, OnePlus announced a partnership with Hasselblad that — in this reporter’s opinion — yielded some of the best color rendering on the market. But those were early days, and this time around OnePlus is promising closer integration with Hasselblad for even better images and photographer-friendly features.
First things first — here are some samples from the new shooter:
OnePlus says its new camera shoots in full 10-bit color, and can process “64 times more color than its predecessor.” But more exciting to me is the ability to shoot in RAW while maintaining HDR processing and other computational photography elements. Most phones shoot RAW photos without any of the AI goodies that phones do so well, making them largely useless unless you can tightly control lighting.
In terms of the actual hardware, OnePlus’ new ultrawide camera offers a 150-degree field-of-view, which allows you to shoot fisheye photos. That said, because of the high-resolution 48MP sensor, you can still shoot images in a cropped view with a more traditional 110-degree field of view.
Meanwhile, new “master styles’ offer aesthetics created by Hasselblad photographers for wildlife, portraits, and stylized photography.
Lastly, there’s a major improvement for videographers with a new Movie Mode, which allows you to adjust ISO, shutter speed, and more on the fly. You can also shoot in a LOG format for optimal color-grading and maximum dynamic range.
When is it coming?
The good news: January 13.
The bad news: The above is only for China. The rest of the world will see the phone “later in 2022.” Considering the 9 Pro launched globally in March of 2021, I’d expect its successor to be released by March at the latest, but we have no official word from OnePlus on that matter. It seems the tighter integration with Oppo has made OnePlus prioritize its Chinese audience a little more than usual.
There’s also no word on pricing just yet, but once the phone launches in China we should have some sense of its price in other markets.
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.